I am now officially a teacher! I’ve started teaching at my junior high school (ages 13-15) and I really enjoy it!
The students are… well, they’re teenagers! A lot of it is a front though, because they make great effort at times to say hi and get a response back with a wave. So the amount of times i say hello or good morning or whatever when i walk down the hall is crazy. And when i sit with some students at lunchtime, they start to get really scared, it’s quite funny. It doesn’t particularly make it easy to play games in class and make it fun, because they all want to be treated ‘age appropriate’ I may have to step up my game for the older ones…
The teachers are really friendly, which has helped me feel at home a lot quicker. Not to say taht i’m not totally uncomfortable pretending to learn japanese when i don’t have any lessons to teach or preparation to do. Here, even if you have nothing to do for school you still have to pretend to be busy with stuff relevant to school. Though i also think that some of the stuff they taught us in training isn’t always applicable to the school because they seem to be pretty chilled out. Also, this week and last is a bit out of the ordinary because the kids had a sports day one day and this week the 3rd years are off to Tokyo…
Trying not to make mistakes is always hard to, culturally. I often find myself making the worst ones when i’m feeling a bit too relaxed, so it keeps you on your toes, again not helping me feel totally comfortable yet. It’s still constantly walking on eggshells.
Last weekend i went to a cultural day for foreign residents of nagoya, which there are quite a few of because of the english curriculum taught at the university. It was really interesting, we had a short tea ceremony (thank god, otherwise my legs would’ve given in), learned how to make onigiri (famous in nagoya, rice balls filled with fish or tempura) and there was a koto performance, i even tried playing it! It was really interesting, and best of all… free!
Then i went and visited Nagoya castle, the only thing for tourists really ehre, and it gave a good view of nagoya from the top, but other than that nothing special.
I’m hoping to head down to kyoto next weekend weather permitting, so i should have a nice post next time!